The share of online shopping is growing all the time, and online transactions are becoming more and more important in all industries. Stores will see customers returning at some point, but it is likely that products will be researched increasingly frequently at home before the final purchase decision is confirmed in store. We are witnessing a lasting change in consumer behavior! So how can we prepare for and adapt to it?
Customers demand more – cheaper and faster.
Although physically visiting and evaluating stores has given way to familiarizing oneself with and comparing store selections from the comfort of one’s own sofa, for certain products the customer wants to approve the details in the store. This is especially so in the case of more complex products or when there are many different options surrounding the core product itself. The store experience should align with and support those digital tools that the customer has used to establish first contact with the product selection. The omnichannel strategy needs to be consistent and in order!
Consumer behavior has also moved in a more personal direction, and at the same time the meaning of the term “custom order” has changed. For more and more product groups, customers want to be able to personalize products and participate in their design. Ready-made stock items are rarely considered valid anymore, so the amount of customization is constantly increasing. At the same time, however, it should be possible to offer the product at a competitive price and deliver it in the shortest possible timeframe. For many companies today, a product characterized by a high degree of variation can be a competitive advantage – although it is difficult to continuously offer it cost-effectively.
According to The Deloitte Consumer Tracker, in 2020 about 10 percent ofBritishcitizens made their food purchases online, but in one year that figure has risen to 30 percent. Food is a good example of a daily basic staple and the increased percentage effectively illustrates the direction of change with reference to all consumer products that have traditionally been collected in person in store. Digitalization and the change in consumer behavior that it brings are spreading across all product and service segments.
Digital customer experience
Today, consumer customers have easy access to global product ranges, meaning that the scope of the catalog alone is not enough – one must be able to offer some added value to improve the customer experience. In addition to product personalization, customer communication must also be personalized by providing detailed information about the customer’s order. Naturally, the entire process from ordering through delivery must go smoothly.
According to research company Gartner, the following digitalization trends will continue to strengthen significantly in commerce:
- Sales and e-commerce platforms are becoming better and more adaptable.
- Product-related services are generating more and more revenue.
- More and more diverse links, networks and advertising channels are being tied to trading platforms.
- Competitor positions are becoming blurred as third-party trading platforms become more common and products are sold at many different locations.
- With automation, the purchasing path becomes unified and uninterrupted from order to delivery, as information flows and systems communicate with each other in the background.
So how do we deal with these changes? How can I gain a competitive advantage in the market? At VividWorks, we believe modern technologies will help us achieve this competitive advantage. We help companies find the right path to the hearts of their customers, resulting in increased sales. Creating a visual purchasing process is one of the most significant competitive advantages that digital solutions can bring to almost any product category – spanning both B2C and B2B environments!